MediaCom hits go on biometric tracking in Asia-Pacific

Nicola Riches
By Nicola Riches | 28 January 2016

MediaCom’s Australia office is poised to formally launch its biometric tracking offering after a nine-month trial which will see it roll out the technology in the Asia-Pacific region.

The local agency has become one of the first divisions outside of the UK to launch biometric tracking with technology partner Realeyes.

MediaCom confirmed to AdNews that the platform – which monitors consumers’ reactions to content via a standard webcam – has been in soft launch mode for the past nine months and is now set to roll out with clients in the automotive and finance sectors.

The agency is not yet able to disclose exactly which partners have been testing the service.

Chief digital officer (CDO) Willie Pang explains that the service will form part of the company’s content assessment tool and gives clients and brands the opportunity to measure the success of a piece of content before it has hit any media.

One key learning, he reveals, is that the facial coding technology provides better results for long form content than short form content – meaning that while it might not be so appropriate for a 30-second TV spot, it certainly works for longer video content.

Secondly, the technology means that a series of different versions can be monitored in real time, lending an interesting angle to how creative for real-time programmatic delivery is devised.

“That has been particularly useful in the creative ideation process,” Pang says.

Meanwhile, because of the pre-emptive nature of the system, it is believed that the facial coding technology and the data it derives will provide MediaCom’s clients with “substantial” savings.

“Where this gets really interesting is that campaign reporting has traditionally happened 60, or even sometimes, 100 days after the fact, so to be able to supply reporting before an investment decision has been made fundamentally changes the whole planning process," Pang says.

MediaCom has worked with Realeyes technology over the past nine months to monitor how a panel reacts to particular content. As a content agency, as well as a media/planning agency, Pang says that “finding the right set of tools to take the content side of the business to the next level has been a high priority for us”.

The CDO is hopeful that biometric tracking will be used ahead of all campaigns run by the agency.

“For a busy CMO to take this on, and for it to become mainstream, we think it needs to be adopted in the early stages for every campaign we run,” he confirmed.

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